Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

The Tomb

Like most of you I am thinking about Easter today and when I awakened this morning I had some new thoughts about. In the Christian world we believe that Easter is the celebration of Christ's Atonement and Resurrection. These events are the most important events to have ever occurred in the universe.

Although we have received numerous gifts from our Heavenly Father, the gifts of forgiveness, new beginnings, being understood in our personal sufferings are awesome. I am using the word as it once was used not in its casual way used today. The realization of these precious gifts literally fills us with awe. The possibility of being healed of all things, if it is His will, is overwhelming in its significance. One can spend a lifetime pondering it and still be amazed with our limited earthly understanding of it. Through the spirit we are gifted with an occasional deeper look and it is even more thrilling. To know and feel that much love for us as a human family and for us as an individual can literally change a person forever.

To know that through the Atonement we can forgive the unforgivable, love the unlovable, do what feels like the impossible is very healing and empowering. We can let things go because it is healthier for all involved, especially ourselves, and because we want that same kind of mercy extended to us by God and others. Just knowing that justice will be served one day and that things really are fair, ultimately (in eternity if not in mortality) can bring peace to our aching hearts over every issue. I wrote another post of this principle of forgiveness and you can find it here.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that families can be forever. We believe that we will be reunited with those that have died and gone before us as well as those who will come after us. That each family is an eternal chain of people that belong to us and we to them, is life changing as well.

So what I was thinking about this morning along with all of this is that if the Atonement and Resurrection are God's greatest gifts to us, and I believe they are, then our next greatest gift from Him is our agency or the right and privilege to choose for ourselves. He doesn't force us to believe in Him and His promises but gives us opportunity and then we can decide if we humbly receive His gifts or not.

God's plan is so beautiful and perfect and I am constantly confounded and confused about why someone would choose another path? What is in it for them really? I just don't get it but I value and respect our gift to choose for ourselves in all things. I am constantly amazed at how people cope and function in life without choosing Christ and His way. I am thankful that we and our family members have made a good choice. It is such a binding force within our family and one of the most precious gifts in our lives to have this firm foundation and to share it.

This led me to think about the scripture that says we are to have faith, hope and charity but the greatest of these is charity. Why is charity greater than faith or hope? To my thinking, faith and hope are pretty great in their own right. But the thought that was kind of a personal revelation to me this morning was that having charity or unconditional love is greater because it demonstrates to our Father in Heaven that we "Get" faith and hope and because of them we can be more charitable to our brothers and sisters and to ourselves and we can serve Him better. You cannot truly have faith in Christ or hope in eternal life without developing charity or Christ-like love in your life. Charity is the fruit, the action, the verb that measures our faith and hope in Christ as our Savior. Charity is the ultimate in 'paying it forward.'

So anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts and wish you a Happy Easter every day, not just today. This is the supernal gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving! Enjoy your day, the eternal nature of your family and all the new beginnings we have been given to get it right. Notice and enjoy the types and images found that testify of these truths in all the new life and growth and beauty of springtime around you. Rejoice and let your heart be of glad in it!

flickr photos